Sunday, March 28, 2010


17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven...

Colossians 1:12-29

Mirriam-Webster defines reconcile as
"to restore to friendship or harmony" or
"to cause to submit to or accept something unpleasant."

Both these definitions really describe my past year. In retrospect, I think my 25th year of life has been pretty easy and pleasant. Friendships have evolved, like usual, but there have been two key friendships that have changed and continue to be sanctifying relationships.

We'll call the first friend "Sally." She and I have known one another for almost 5 years I guess. We learned about the Lord together and have many mutual friends. However, there was always an unidentifiable wedge in our friendship; something was missing. Once we began becoming closer friends is when I began to get hurt by her. At first it was something petty like not being invited into a small Bible study she started. Upon confronting Sally about this matter, she said that there wasn't room for me. Rejection... by one of my best friends. I dismissed this and pushed Sally back a few more feet from my heart. Another thing happened where I realized she hadn't told me the entire truth and just didn't care. Then, a few other painful times when she consistently chose her relationships with guys over me. Ouch... rejection again. And, over several years, I noticed a pattern in Sally's life of unintentionally hurting friends. After many confrontations, nothing changed in her life.... so I forgave her for the hurt she had caused me, and chose to "accept something unpleasant," and just surrender this relationship to the Lord.

The second story is about a guy named "Jack." We used to be really good friends. Then, after a series of events, our friendship went downhill really quickly and ended abruptly... and I was treated pretty poorly afterward. After that, we tried to make amends, but not much changed. Then, several years later, what seemed like all of a sudden, Jack contacted me and sincerely apologized for being mean. After having given up on our relationship completely, I feel as if God gifted me with it once again. The Lord, Creator of the Universe and the One who lives inside of me, continues to enlarge my heart and increase my faith. Lord-willing, this relationship with Jack is being restored to friendship, despite all the past hurt and painful memories.

The beauty in these two stories is that neither is perfect. Yes, there are glimpses of glory in each of them, but they are nothing like our Holy God reconciling us to Himself. Jesus came in order to make us holy and pure before God. Jesus made peace with God for us through dying on the cross. He submitted to that which was unpleasant to restore the harmony between the Creation and the Creator that was present before the Fall.

I continue to choose to remember that the Lord is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Be encouraged, my friends, relationships can be restored on this side of heaven... our prime example is our reconciliation with the Faithful One! Continue to pray, don't lose heart, persevere, fight the good fight.

(Another good passage to read: Joshua 1.)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

blinded & burdened

i realized recently that most of my posts are a little on the heavy side. i'm not the type of blogger who has witty and clever stories to write, nor do i have funny life stories to share with you. i have what is bouncing around in my mind and my heart, dying for a place to land... and that place just so happens to be this blog. so, take it for what it is-- and for what it isn't.

Lately, the Lord has been moving in quite uncomfortable ways in me. (I'm not sure if you can relate, but since the Lord lives in me, I feel like sometimes He makes His presence more known than at other times-- maybe like a little fetus kicking my ribs, but I don't know too much about all that!) Anyways, it seems like He is pushing my heart up closer to my eyes and then back into my brain. Know that feeling? Yeah, it's painful.

My worldview is constantly changing-- and much more quickly in the past year and a half post-graduation. Allow me to explain this: My view of the world and its suffering is broadening. I know it's the work of the Holy Spirit, but I'm not sure I can attribute this change to specific events or blinding lights on the road to Damascus. Instead, it has been walking blindly every day. What has this looked like for me? Trust in God for "micro" things: jobs, money, mending of relationships. And to trust in God for "macro" things: repair Haiti, repair Chile, repair Afghanistan... that the One who created the universe has a plan for this broken shell of a girl living in Charlotte and a plan for the depravity, homelessness, poverty, disease, war, sex trafficking, and general brokenness of humankind around the world.

I'm not at all sure where God will take me, how He plans on using me, or why He even cares (some days)... but I am so thankful to be His and will continue to struggle through what it means to be a holy & beautiful daughter in the sight of my Loving Father.